The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


SylviaH's picture


After reading in 'Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads Sweet and Savory Baking for Breakfast, Brunch, and Beyond' Ciril Hitz forward by Peter Reinhart>

Gibassier - This little-known breakfast bread hails from the Provence region in France and is, in CH wife's opinion, one of the best breakfast breads ever to have graced our table.  She is not alone, most everyone that has been lucky enough to taste a gibassier falls in love instantly.  Perhaps it is the light, buttery texture of the aroma of orange blossom water mixed with the selicate hint of aniseed.  Whatever it is, this little baked gem has the potential for a cultlike following among bakers everywhere....and it goes on...well I just couldn't wait to give it a try. 


Pre-ferment (Biga)                                                                                Yield - apx. one dozen individual loaves -

1.  Bread Flour - I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour - 180 gms                  350F convection oven mode - 10 -12 minutes

2.  Whole Milk -  I used 2 % - 110 gms

3. Instant Yeast - Osmotolerant - 0.01 - pinch



1.  Eggs whole 130 grams or 2 Eggs plus one yolk

2.  Olive Oil - 65 gms

3.  Orange blossom water - 38 gms

4.  Water - 25 gms

5.  Bread Flour KAAP used - 400gms

6.  Pre-ferment - All of it

7.  Granulated sugar - I used Bakers fine sugar - 100 gms

8.  Salt - 7gms sea salt used

9.  Instant yeast preferably osmotolerant - 2 teaspoons of osmotolerant used or 10 gms

10.  Unsalted butter - 70gms - Land O Lakes I used

11.  Aniseed - 6 gms - 1 1/2 tsp.

12.  Candied orange peel 1/4 inch cubed - 70 gms - 1/2 cup -  I make my own from organic oranges

13.  Granulated sugar for topping  -  As needed

14.  Clarified butter - 113 gms - 1/2 cup

Night before baking

  • Combine all the pre-ferment ingredients in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer and mix at low speed until a smooth consistency is achieved.  Remove from bowl and place in an oiled container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap.  Allow to stand overnight (14 to 16 hours) at room temperature.

Baking Day

  • Bring the Eggs, Olive Oil, Orange blossom water, and water to about 60F. 
  • In the bowl of a 5 - quart stand mixwer, pour in the warmed liquids, add the pre-ferment and then add the bread flour, granulated sugar, salt, and instant yeast.  Using a dough hook, mix together at low speed until the dough comes together (about 4 minutes).
  • Increase the mixing speed to medium and mix for an additional 4 minutes.
  • In the meantime, soften the unsalted butter to a plastic state by hammering it with a rolling pin. 
  • Slowly add the softened butter to the mixing dough in stages.  Be sure that each portion of butter is completely incorporated into the dough before adding the next portion.
  • Mix the dough until the dough is fully developed.
  • When the dough is fully developed, reduce the mixing speed to low and add the aniseed and candied orange peel.  Continue until all is evenly distributed.  About 2 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and lightly shape into a round.  Place in an oil-sprayed container and cover.  Bulk ferment for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. 
  • Using a scale and bench scraper, divide the dough into 90 or 100gm units and work into rounds, then cover and let rest for about 20 minutes.
  • Shape into torpedoes and then press them flat.  They should be shaped like a half circle
  • Place the straighter edge of the dough near to you and use a 2-inch wide putty knife - I used a plastic card - somewhat like a credit card you might like to cut up : )
  • Cut 3 slits starting in the middle and one on each side.  Cut 4 slits about 1/3 the the way down into the outer edge of the dough, splitting the difference in between the major slits.  You'll have 4 cuts along the outer edge.
  • Pick up each unit, open it with a gentel stretch,  place on parchment lined sheet pans.  Let it proof, covered with plastic for about 1 to 1/2 hours.  Mine did not take that long.  My kitchen was pretty warm today.
  • Pre-heat a covection oven to 350F for about 30 minutes. 
  • Pre-pare the clarified butter
  • Proof
  • Bake until golden
  • I made a mixture of one egg about 3 Tbsp. milk for a egg wash prior to putting into the oven..on 2 of my last baked Gibassier and I liked the way they came out much better than the unglazed ones..they rose higher and looked more golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and brush the hot gibassiers with clarified butter.  After the butter has set, toss in a bowl with grandular sugar to coat while still warm.  Then set on wire rack to cool.


                      Candied Orange Peel I made from my neighbors organic orange trees.

                           Candied Orange Peel and Aniseed




















                                Delicious with a delicate flavor of orange and aniseed.  Ciril Hitz wife was right!  What a perfect breakfast or tea pastry to

                                grace a table.


                                                                      Submitted to Yeastspotting


Sedlmaierin's picture

WOW! I am so hungry now-they look beautiful!


SylviaH's picture


arlo's picture

Wow those are the cutest little shapes! So creative!

SylviaH's picture

Thank you!  These were so fun shaping and fairly simple.  I wish I hadn't been in a hurry,  I was on a time order to get dinner on the table at the same time.  My husband leaves for work right after our early dinners.


proth5's picture

is always a lot of work - and so worht it!  Congrats on a lovely bake.

SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Pat!

These are a process but I found it very enjoyable, making pretty shapes, dipping in sugar, even using my mixer which I don't do very often for bread.  The whole experience was enjoyable.  The outcome even better...what a flavor, especially this morning..omgosh!


wally's picture

Beautiful creations as usual, Sylvia.  When I look at the pictures I wonder whether those delicious treats were meant to be eaten or framed :)


SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Larry!  The flavor is even better this morning...omg!   Oh definately admired and then eaten : )  These are so pleasing to the palate and elegant.  You want to savor each bite.  I was so glad I took the time to make my colorful, flavorful and tender orange peel.  These deserve the best and freshest. 


Floydm's picture

One of the local bakeries here makes Gibassier.  I agree, when they are made well they are amazing!

Yours look beautiful.

SylviaH's picture

Thank you, Floyd!

Oh, and delicious they are...I would also love to taste one from a nice bakery, what a treat!


salma's picture

Your Gibassiers look delish. I tried them twice and didn't find them light enough. Needless to say that i didn't give up my day job (playing tennis for fun). The bran muffins by Ciril Hitz are the best ever and the pecan sticky buns are very good too.

SylviaH's picture

CH has some wonderful recipes!


rossnroller's picture
rossnroller glad to have it revived.

Those little babies look beeyootiful, Sylvia. The shaping is charming. I've gotta try baking these, also, but think I might have to settle for something a little simpler - aw, let's say 'rustic' -  in appearance.

It was intriguing to note the inclusion of orange blossom water amongst the ingredients. I do a lot of Moroccan-style cooking and 'borrowed' OBW when developing my bananabread a couple of years back. I really like the perfumy-orange undertones a small amount lends to the flavour profile, so I've often also used it in other fruit-loaf and sweet-dough breads, buns etc. Fondly imagined I was contributing something novel to the cultural cross-fertilisation of global cuisines - until now! Just shows, there ain't much that hasn't already been tried (and shared or passed on, thankfully) in the wonderful wide world of baking.

Thanks for your post and the inspiration to add another mouthwatering calorie bomb to the menu!

Best of baking

SylviaH's picture

You might like to try the shape I used on these 'Orange Aniseed Wheels' from Ciril Hitz book Baking Artisan Bread..these were good but the Gibassier are the best.  

Happy Baking!


freerk's picture

hey Silvia!


Didn't know what to get a good friend of mine for his birthday yesterday and ran into this wonderful recipe! I threw in a "pain de dieppe" and a price winning wine. Today was the party and it was a total succes!

I couldn't get the orangeblossomwater on a sunday unfortunately, so I tweaked the recipe with some Monin orange. Not quite as subtle as the blossomwater, but very good nonetheless. Next time with the blossomwater though, 'cause I love that taste!

thanks for sharing!


SylviaH's picture

Your Gibassier look so delicous. What thoughtful birthday gifts of handmade breads and a lovely wine, always sure to please.  I just received a new bottle of french orange blossom water the other day.  It should last a bit.   This is one of my favorite recipes, anytime of year or occassion.  Your welcome and glad you enjoyed it too!

Thanks for the post.

Sylvia : ) 

Emelye's picture

Although I substituted the orange blossom water with some diluted oprange extract.  I also used some Amish Friendship Bread starter in the preferment, along with enough milk to adjust the preferment's consistency.  They are absolutely delish!!  Thanks for the formula, SylviaH!

fmlyhntr's picture

How does one adjust the temperature and time for a non-convection oven?

SylviaH's picture

My convection oven is adjusted for 350F so using it tends to make things cook up a little more even and brown quicker because of the air circulation, and maybe cook a little faster, as far as I know, convection cooking can be hotter, sometimes as much as 15-20F, so I've read..mine is not so.  My bottom oven is a regular elec. oven, and I often use both without adjusting the temperature.  My regular bottom oven seems to take a wee bit longer.  The rule of thumb :) Always watch the bread, cookies and so forth..Not the clock.  So watch the goods and when they look lovely risen, browned and have baked close to the estimated time, they are probably done, especially with a small roll like these.  Trusting my own best judgement  or a probe thermometer is what I do.

To make a long story short.  Set your regular oven for 350F.  They should be bake up beautifully.  

Happy Holidays!